Part of Trinity's Spiritual Formation Program
Fall, 2016 to Spring, 2017: Mystical Christianity
The word "religion" means, at its root, "connection." This suggests that the purpose of religion is to connect us to something -- to connect us to God. A deeper connection with God also means making a deeper connection with that place in ourselves where we meet God and God meets us. For Christians, Jesus is the one in whom we see this connection brought to life most clearly -- so clearly, in fact, that we are able to say that Jesus is God incarnate in a human life. But Jesus makes clear that to follow him is to be led into the heart of God. For centuries, Christians of every generation have responded to this call to discover, in their own personal experience, the mystery of God. Generally, we have called these spiritual explorers "mystics", though that term has meant different things to different people in different times and places. This year, the Rector's Class will focus on some of these spiritual explorers, beginning with the desert mothers and fathers and moving forward to mystics in our own time. We will explore their insights, and see how their experiences intersect with our own. This exploration is rooted in the conviction that we are each called to connect to the mystery of God, and in the embrace of that connection, to be transformed
in a more Christ-like direction.
These classses are part of our Adult Formation Program. Click HERE to learn more.
Class Schedule for our Exploration of Mystical Christianity
Please note that Monday classes meet in the Evening at 7 PM until 8:15 pm in Angus Hall, and Wednesday classes meet in the Morning at 10:30 am until 11:45 am in the Library in Trinty Hall. Choose the day and time that works best for you -- Wednesday repeats the content of the Monday session that precedes it. Recordings of the Wednesday morning class sessions will be uploaded to this site weekly for listening, and will be found by scrolling down.
September 19 & 21 -- Revisiting the "Larger Self/Smaller Self" Paradigm & Introduction to the Desert
September 26 & 28 -- The Cell Will Teach You Everything
October 3 & 5 -- Heart-Centered Spirituality
October 10 & 12 -- Thoughts, Desires, and Passions
October 17 & 19 -- Solitude, Silence, and Hesychia
November 7 & 9 -- Biblical Interpretation in the Mystical Tradition
November 14 & 16 -- Ascesticism and Purgation
November 28 & 30 -- Prayer, Liturgy, and Sacraments
December 5 & 7 -- Prayer, Liturgy, and Sacraments
December 12 & 14 -- Inner and Outer Practices
Christmas/New Year Break
January 9 & 11, 2017 -- Mystical Itineraries
January 16 & 18 -- Living the Trinity
January 23 & 25 -- Encountering Christ
January 30 & Feb 1 -- Love and Knowledge
February 6 & 8 -- Positive and Negative Ways to God
February 13 & 15 -- Vision, Contemplation, and Rapture
March 6 & 8 -- Distress and Derelection
March 13 & 15 -- Deification and Birthing
March 20 & 22 -- Mysticism and Heresy
March 27 & 29 -- Contemplation and Action
Below you will find a library containing the recordings of the current series of classes on Mysticism, as well as recordings from last year's class, called Descent of the Heart. A desciption of last year's class is found below, and the recordings follow.
The Descent of the Heart classes ran from September, 2016 through early March. Below, you will find the raw, unedited recordings of the Wednesday morning class sessions, if you wish to listen to them. Please note that the manuscript on which these classes are based is now in the process of being re-written, and so is not available at this time. It is hoped that, once the re-writing is completed, the manuscript will be available through a church publisher or through a self-publishing platform. Either way, once the revised and final edition is available, this section will be updated to reflect that.
I am grateful to all who participated in the classes and received the material so graciously. Your participation, encouragement, and feedback has been invaluable.